Walls divide.

And although they may be useful in some circumstances, walls should not be used to divide a company’s two most essential divisions from each other, as was the case with Global Cruise Line.

Global Cruise Line had a long and proud heritage in the cruise business and had always been successful in providing high levels of guest satisfaction. The company had always relied on its shrewd business sense, hard work, and the courage to innovate in how it builds ships, and how it serves guests. And as the company grew larger, it realized that its own Marine Operations Division and Hotel Operations Division had somehow managed to build a ‘wall’ between themselves that was keeping them from sailing in the same direction. Global knew that it had to take a bold step to realign the mindsets of the two divisions if it wanted to continue to innovate and grow successfully. And continue to delight its guests.

Global’s vision was a combined Fleet Operations Division with one team and one efficient guest-driven goal. Synectics immediately began the task of reconciling the two divisions to re-establish a single standard for guest satisfaction, managing the tradeoffs between guest services and revenue generation on the one hand, and expense control and safety on the other.

Employing Business Process Innovation (BPI), Synectics built a solution based on both guest insights and employee involvement, from senior management to cabin attendants. The task teams, employing Synectics insight-led innovation and divergent thinking processes, were successful in transforming the company’s vision into reality with the formation of the new Fleet Operations Group, headed by Executive Vice-President Lloyd Howard, a far-sighted leader in the tradition of the company’s founder.

Within a year, not only had the new Fleet Operations Group swept the old divisive mindset from the company’s memory but it had created a thriving ship-shore, marine-hotel synergy that expressed itself in a highly collaborative and innovative culture.

With the wall gone, Global Cruise Line thrived, exceeding its own targets for efficiency, as well as guest and employee satisfaction ratings.

With a ‘one team’ mindset, it would be smooth sailing ahead.

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